A Mary Question


#1

It seems to me that every convert and Catholic-wannabe (that sounds rude but it really is with the best intentions, since I am one) has a problem with Mary. I suppose I am not so different. I know Mary is important. I have read and heard it all. However, I really don’t get why anyone would be consecrated to Mary, but then again maybe my understanding of consecrated is wrong. It just seems like some people push Mary to almost the idolatry level. Personally, she is great for intercession, but I don’t expect her to come again when Christ returns, I don’t expect her to do some other things that Catholics have said (maybe there were some radicals in there or maybe I understood, im not perfect…:smiley: ). Anywho, can anybody enlighten me on why it seems that she has almost been put at the same level, devotionally, as Christ.

DU…:confused:


#2

Well, I don’t think she is put at the same level as Christ. Have you ever been to Eucharistic Adoration? People kneel and flat-out worship Jesus for an hour. You’ll never see that kind of attention payed to Mary.


#3

I understand that. I am speaking of those that do much of their praying to Mary (and I have met a few) and take for example Pope John Paul II…:clapping: …his Papacy was for Mary, and I should mention that I don’t fully understand what he did with Mary and his Papacy, but he devoted it to her I believe. I am not trying to be ignorant or rude, just simply understand. Oh, and I love the Catholic Church…:smiley:


#4

Oh, well, Mary is the perfect Christian. She is who we should model our life after. This is slightly better than modeling our life on Jesus because Jesus wasn’t His own desciple and didn’t submit His will and follow Himself, you know what I mean? We are not God-men who can perform miracles. We want to worship Him, follow Him, and obey His teaching. Mary did this the best.

As for JPII devoting His papacy to her, people devote their greatest works to different people all the time (ie, if I write a book I might dedicate it to my mom). Of course everything we do is dedicated to Jesus at the end, but dedicating things to those we love is an act of respect, love, and appreciation. Hope that helps!

I myself have a special devotion to Mary because she brought me so much closer to Jesus than I was before (even though I am a cradle Catholic, my faith was pretty weak for a while).


#5

Hi snowman, maybe I can help you.
I consecrated myself to Mary on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, 2004, after a 33 day preparation.

In that total consecration to Mary, I am totally and perfectly consecrated to Jesus THROUGH Mary.

You may find this site helpful; it not only explains the devotion, it gives a link to the readings and prayers for the 33 day period. Once you read about the centrality of Jesus/ God in the devotion which is THROUGH Mary TO God, and see that the prayers are centered in Litanies to the Holy Spirit, to the Holy Name of Jesus, the Jesus prayer of St. Louis, etc., along with readings from the Bible and the Imitation of Christ, it might help you to see the appropriateness of the devotion and that it is far from elevating Mary “as Mary” but instead deals with a fuller knowledge of and appreciation for Mary’s “fiat” and life in God which will lead to a fuller knowledge of God. . .and which is there ONLY to lead to that and to the greater worship of God.

Here’s the site. If you have any questions I’d be glad to address them.

kensmen.com/catholic/totalconsecrationmontfort.html


#6

[quote=snowman10]It seems to me that every convert and Catholic-wannabe (that sounds rude but it really is with the best intentions, since I am one) has a problem with Mary. I suppose I am not so different. I know Mary is important. I have read and heard it all. However, I really don’t get why anyone would be consecrated to Mary, but then again maybe my understanding of consecrated is wrong. It just seems like some people push Mary to almost the idolatry level. Personally, she is great for intercession, but I don’t expect her to come again when Christ returns, I don’t expect her to do some other things that Catholics have said (maybe there were some radicals in there or maybe I understood, im not perfect…:smiley: ). Anywho, can anybody enlighten me on why it seems that she has almost been put at the same level, devotionally, as Christ.

DU…:confused:
[/quote]

It was once described like this to me, if we look at a beautiful painting, and are taken in by it’s beauty, then who do we give glory to, the painting or the one that painted it ?
So if we delight in the beauty of Mary, in her great role as the mother of Jesus, then we give glory to God for having created such a creature.
I have carved you in the palm of my hands.


#7

[quote=snowman10]I understand that. I am speaking of those that do much of their praying to Mary (and I have met a few) and take for example Pope John Paul II…:clapping: …his Papacy was for Mary, and I should mention that I don’t fully understand what he did with Mary and his Papacy, but he devoted it to her I believe. I am not trying to be ignorant or rude, just simply understand. Oh, and I love the Catholic Church…:smiley:
[/quote]

Catholics have 3 levels that we use to honor:

  1. Latria - This is to God alone
  2. Hyperdulia - This is to Mary
  3. Dulia - This is to the other Saints

[quote=STIOFÁN] It was once described like this to me, if we look at a beautiful painting, and are taken in by it’s beauty, then who do we give glory to, the painting or the one that painted it ?
So if we delight in the beauty of Mary, in her great role as the mother of Jesus, then we give glory to God for having created such a creature.
I have carved you in the palm of my hands.
[/quote]

This is not (IMO) an adequate comparison. Yes, you can recognize the artist for having painted the piece of art and you should (Latria). However, you can also appreciate the painting itself (Hyperdulia) as being a work of art that is elevated above all the other paintings which the painter created. His other masterpieces might then be viewed and appreciated (dulia) as well; but they still do not hold the same level of exquisite detail as the hyperdulia piece.
God bless.


#8

[quote=Tietjen] His other masterpieces might then be viewed and appreciated (dulia) as well; but they still do not hold the same level of exquisite detail as the hyperdulia piece.
God bless.
[/quote]

I’m not talking about other masterpieces, I’m talking about Mary.


#9

[quote=snowman10]It seems to me that every convert and Catholic-wannabe (that sounds rude but it really is with the best intentions, since I am one) has a problem with Mary. IDU…:confused:
[/quote]

I have to take issue with the statement that every convert has trouble with Mary. I certainly don’t. In fact she is the number one reason that I am drawn to the church. Perhaps it is because I am from such a dysfunctional home with an unstable mother. I can not help but feel awestruck that Jesus would share his mother with us. There is something so amazingly kind and loving in that thought.


#10

I am a convert. Catholics don’t worship Mary, we adore her because she was the perfect follower of her son, Jesus Christ. We pray to her to ask Christ to grant our prayer request. Sort of like asking the mother of the kid next door to ask her son to mow your lawn while you are away. I just read a little piece that went like this. A protestant minister died and was greeted in heaven by Jesus at a large gala. As Jesus was introduceing him to everyone He came to His family and said, “I know that you know My Father but I don’t believe you have met My Mother.”


#11

Here’s a different site which explains consecration to Mary:

www.consecration.com

You can also find some good material here:

www.marymediatrix.com


#12

[quote=deb1…**I can not help but feel awestruck that Jesus would share his mother with us.
[/quote]

There is something so amazingly kind and loving in that thought.

That really says a lot!
Anytime I present my mother to anyone, I am greatly pleased when they give her endless compliments!
I’m so pleased when my children call her on her birthday, send her cards, thank her for gifts (even though my Dad paid for them)…etc.
I always remember the following when someone questions devotion to the Mother that the Messiah gave to us all from the Cross through His beloved Apostle. After all, didn’t He have anything more important to say as His last words before death?
No He didn’t.
And I say:
Who among us can give more Honor and Glory to the Spouse (Mary) of the Holy Spirit, being Third Person of the Blessed Trinity;
Who among us can give more Honor and Glory to the Mother Mary of Jesus Christ, being the Second person of the Blessed Trinity;
Who among us has spent more time devoted to Mary than Jesus did??

Do you know of anyone who is outdoing the Trinity?”

After all, the Messiah of us all gave her His attention for 30 long years. To the rest of the human race He gave but 3.

Any Honor we give, no matter how extravagant it may seem, is so feeble compared to that which the 2nd and 3rd Persons of the Trinity give Her, period.

The Messiah chose to come to us through this one Woman, no other way.
Pray tell, how could He ever complain if we use the very same person He did to arrive back to Him?
What’s He gonna say? “Do as I say, not what I do?”


#13

[quote=Lance]Catholics don’t worship Mary, we adore her because she was the perfect follower of her son, Jesus Christ.
[/quote]

Careful! We certainly do NOT ADORE her, we honor her above all other creatures. Essential difference there.

I am also consecrated to Jesus through Mary, every year on the feast of the Annunciation. When I did it for the first time, it completely changed my prayer life. I totally feel her help in my relationship with Christ. He is our ultimate goal in devotion to Mary, and I can tell you from experience, nothing and noone has led me closer to Him than Mary.

jp2fan


#14

[quote=jp2fan]Careful! We certainly do NOT ADORE her, we honor her above all other creatures. Essential difference there.
[/quote]

“Adore” can be used in a technical sense to mean the supreme adoration we give to God alone and it can also be used in another, also technical, broader sense to mean the reverence we show not only to God but also to created things. And finally it can be used in a colloquial sense in which it certainly applies to Mary. So in the first technical sense, we do not adore Her. In the second technical sense we do adore Her. And in the final, third sense we most certainly adore her.

You can read about the two techinical definitions of adore in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

newadvent.org/cathen/01151a.htm

In the strict sense, an act of religion offered to God in acknowledgment of His supreme perfection and dominion, and of the creature’s dependence upon Him; in a looser sense, the reverence shown to any person or object possessing, inherently or by association, a sacred character or a high degree of moral excellence.”

The third colloquial common sense of the word adore can be found in any good dictionary:
dictionary.reference.com/search?q=adore
"To regard with deep, often rapturous love."

And that is undoubedtedly what Lance meant and I think to criticize him for this common, colloquial use of the word is unwarranted as it may lead some people to believe that Mary should not be loved in a deep way when the Catholic faith teaches us that she should and thus be adored in that sense.


#15

I didn’t mean to criticize him…but I think we do need to be really careful about our wording. We don’t want to give Protestants or others the idea that we worship her. I suppose you are right, that technically it’s ok, but it’s like calling the Eucharist bread and wine. Rome has said it’s ok, but the wording can so easily give the wrong impression. That’s all I meant.


#16

[quote=snowman10]It seems to me that every convert and Catholic-wannabe (that sounds rude but it really is with the best intentions, since I am one) has a problem with Mary. I suppose I am not so different. I know Mary is important. I have read and heard it all. However, I really don’t get why anyone would be consecrated to Mary, but then again maybe my understanding of consecrated is wrong. It just seems like some people push Mary to almost the idolatry level. Personally, she is great for intercession, but I don’t expect her to come again when Christ returns, I don’t expect her to do some other things that Catholics have said (maybe there were some radicals in there or maybe I understood, im not perfect…:smiley: ). Anywho, can anybody enlighten me on why it seems that she has almost been put at the same level, devotionally, as Christ.

DU…:confused:
[/quote]

without a source for those Catholics you have heard or read claiming divine status for Mary, we cannot answer you, other than to warn you, in general, against taking the personal practices of individuals for official Catholic church teaching. Lots of individual Catholics disobey church laws on marriage, condone abortion, consult psychics, have racist attitudes and have all kinds of practices and beliefs that contradict and deny Catholic teaching. They do not stand for the Church, so it would be wrong to condemn the Church for their personal acts and beliefs.

It sounds like you don’t have a problem with Mary, but you have maybe a legitimate problem with the attitudes some people display about Mary.

Begin with CA tracts on Mary on the homepage, and then search for the dozens of threads on this topic if you really want authentic Catholic teaching on Mary. All doctrine about Mary is about Jesus and was promulgated to protect against error and heresy regarding Jesus.


#17

[quote=snowman10]It seems to me that every convert and Catholic-wannabe (that sounds rude but it really is with the best intentions, since I am one) has a problem with Mary.
[/quote]

This is a case of “Our Johnny is the only soldier in the company marching in step.”

The fact is that protestants find it strange to see devotion to Mary, because their churches have cut Mary out of the Faith. Mary has been “edited out” of salvation history and hidden away in a corner by many protestant churches.

But they are the **only ** ones who do this. The Catholic Church, The orthodox Churches, The Coptic Churches, the Armenian and Syriac Churches. In fact ALL the ancient churches that have their origins among the early Christians, honour and venerate Mary.

It is only in protesantism in the past 400 years that group of Christians have imagined that they are pleasing God by ignoring and even defaming her!

It just seems like some people push Mary to almost the idolatry level. Personally, she is great for intercession, but I don’t expect her to come again when Christ returns, I don’t expect her to do some other things that Catholics have said (maybe there were some radicals in there or maybe I understood, im not perfect…:smiley: ). Anywho, can anybody enlighten me on why it seems that she has almost been put at the same level, devotionally, as Christ.

Go to mass, the central act of Catho;ic worship, and you will find Mary very little mentioned 90% of the time. But Mary has an important role to play in other devotions - ost of them optional.

As I said, your problem is most likely cultural. You have moved from a circle where Mary is virtually never mentioned, and is actually de-emphasized far below her scriptural role, to one where she receives the honour and consideration due to the Mother of God the Son.


#18

Just to emphasise my previous point. I recently looked up the - in depth 2005 bible study programme for the Southern Baptist church.

These are their study sessions for the New Testament in 2005:

John the Baptist
Jesus Birth and Childhood
Jesus baptism
Jesus Temptation
Jesus at the Cana Wedding
Jesus Calls the disciples
Jesus heals a Paralytic
Sermon on the Mount
Parables about the Kingdom
Jesus Calms the Storm and heals the Dempn-possessed man

Jesus raises a dead girl
Feeding the 5000
Peter’s Confession
The transfiguratoion
Parables on Forgiveness
The Man Born Blind
Parables about Faithfulness
Zacchaeus
Last things Discourse
Lazarus
Triumphal Entry
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Jesus Annointed

Last Supper
Gethsemane
Arrest and Trial
Crucifixion
Burial and resurrection
Appearances
Pentecost
Peter and John Healing and Arrested
Ananias and Sapphira
Stephen
Philip

Saul’s Conversion
Peter and Cornelius
Peter’s Escape from Prison
Paul and Barnabas
Jerusalem Council
Paul and Silas
Paul in Ephesus
Paul’s Arrest
Paul’s Journey to Rome
Letters to the Churches
John’s Visions of End Times
John’s Vision of Heaven

Despite the fact that May is a pivotal figure in the Bible. Despite the Annunciation. Despite the Birth. Despite her propheic song of praise, and the prophecies made to her. Despite the fact that she is there at every significant stage of Jesus’s life. Despite the fact that she had to make the choice for God that reversed the choice made by Eve against God at the start of salvation history. there is no Mary!

Mary has been written out!

There is a session on Ananias and Sapphira
There is a session each on Philip, Zachaeus, Lazarus.
Cornelius Barnabas and Silas even get study sessions
John has 3 sessions
Paul has 6.
Peter has 4.

But not ONE session in the SBCs most detailed scripture study programme is devoted to Mary!

What blindness.


#19

[quote=STIOFÁN]I’m not talking about other masterpieces, I’m talking about Mary.
[/quote]

As am I. I’m attempting to explain that there are different degrees of admiration and/or veneration. One can venerate Mary above other Saints without taking away from the worship given to God and at the same time, continue to honor the other Saints to a lesser degree. Maybe I have misunderstood your original post; but it seemed to imply that the “painter” (God) is the only one to honor and not His “paintings” (Mary and the Saints). I simply was pointing out that you can give credit to God (the Painter) and still find deep respect for the beauty of His work (the Saints) and even deeper respect for his masterpiece (Mary).
God bless.


#20

Thanks jp2fan and tuopaolo. Between the 2 of you you cleared up any misunderstanding I may have created by saying we adore Mary. I want it to be very clear to our protestant brothers and sisters that we do not worship Mary.


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